Category: Inspiration

Journal like the Stoics – @DonJRobertson

A short and fascinating read from cognitive psychotherapist, author and Stoic Donald Robertson.

Journaling for self-improvement is nothing new. Daily reflection as moral self-examination goes all the back to ancient Greece and Rome. It was first described in a poem called The Golden Verses of Pythagoras, based on the doctrines of the famous sixth century BCE philosopher. Later, journaling became a key part of Stoicism.

The famous Stoic thinker Seneca wrote…

We know we ought to. Here’s the reason and inspiration.

Read the rest, here.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Too scared to sell yourself? – @SPressfield

An excellent post from author Steven Pressfield about the painful, self-marketing aspect of being a writer. It’s relevant for all independent professionals.

For the past few months I’ve been working full-time promoting my just-published novel, A Man at Arms, and I have to tell you … I am waaaay out of my comfort zone. 

But, Steven offers an alternative mindset to the usual reluctance we feel.

Here’s how I feel about it. I don’t see it as selfish (though no doubt there are self-interested elements in there.) For me, it’s about fidelity to the book and, especially, to the characters.

It’s about fidelity to the work.

If you do good work, it deserves to be shared.

Read the rest, here.

Steven, of course, wrote The War of Art, an essential guide to getting things done. I’ve just replaced my copy. He also coined the mantra,

Put your ass where your heart wants to be.

Photo by Andreas Rønningen on Unsplash

Stoicism events?

Donald Robertson, author of How to Think Like a Roman Emperor (and many other books), posts a list of forthcoming Stoicism events.

The first is the Marcus Aurelius Anniversary conference, in honour of Marcus’ 1,900th birthday.

The events are virtual, which removes another excuse for not attending. I also see that recording will be available later for donating attendees.

More information, here.

Personal compass, rebooted by Nicholas Bate

A salient reminder of where to focus…

  1. Your career. What are you doing this week to make it sustainable, enjoyable and still viable in 2 years from now?
  2. Your wellness. How much are you simply moving? What’s the quality of your nutrition? Sleeping sufficient? Taking some time out?

Read the rest, here.

Then, possibly, read Nicholas’ debut novel, Meet Molly. More here.

Photo by Anastasia Petrova on Unsplash

On surviving and thriving in a Covid world

Ground down by lockdown? You could look at this as the ultimate Stoic test and attempt to live by the maxim:

It isn’t the things themselves that disturb people, but the judgements that they form about them.”

In other words, like it or not, how we respond to things we can’t control is a choice. Nicholas Bate, as ever, has wise and pithy words, here and here and here

Covid Career Goals, 7

1. To be measured by the value you create not just the time you put in.

5. To be constantly learning. Especially through mistakes.

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

From around the blogosphere

‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’

Steve Layman brings us sound advice from another place and time. He also suggests a few simple rules for everyday life.

Michael Wade shares a moment of tranquillity

…along with style, beauty, art and advice.

Nicholas Bate provides pithy advice for better living (always) …

How to get better at anything, 22

1. Read the best book on the subject by the best expert.
2, Practise the skill daily.
3. Fill a notebook with key points, learnings and tips on the subject.
4. Read that notebook (3) daily.
5. Create a plan of incremental improvement. 
6. …

I am in awe of those who produce thoughtful, thought-provoking and inspiring material with such relentless regularity.

More inspiration to be found at Cultural Offering, and with Patrick Rhone, and with Seth Godin (this particularly caught my eye) and many, many other places. Follow the links, hat-tips and references and let your mind wander. Even if your body can’t.

Photo by Martin Schachinger on Unsplash

Stoicism and psychotherapy – @DonJRobertson

It was common to refer to philosophy itself as a medicine or therapy (therapeia) for the psyche, the soul or mind.

Here’s an interesting article from Donald Robertson (cognitive psychotherapist and author of How to Think Like a Roman Emperor) on Marcus Aurelius, Stoicism and the roots of cognitive behavioural therapy: Marcus Aurelius in Therapy.

Continue reading “Stoicism and psychotherapy – @DonJRobertson”